Ariel Sharon was a man who embodied Jewish strength, and the entire Jewish people should mourn the death of this heroic patriot. Sharon devoted his life to serving the State of Israel, and defended the country valiantly during many of the country’s most difficult battles. He was determined to do whatever he felt was best for the security of Israel, and the Jewish people.

Now that he is no longer in this world, much will be spoken of his legacy – inside and outside of Israel, the man received strong reactions. The entire Jewish people must stand up and say Thank You Ariel Sharon for all you have done for the Jewish people. Thank you General Sharon for protecting the State of Israel. The man oozed a love for Zionism and Israel – he was known as the “bulldozer” and at one point in his life, rightfully urged Israelis to “move, run, grab more hills, expand the territory” knowing, as has proven true today, that “everything that’s grabbed will be in our hands. Everything we don’t grab will be in their hands.”

While many (myself included) disagreed with his decision to remove Jews from Gaza, the man was a Jewish hero and lifelong patriot. He epitomized a sabra-hard and prickly on the outside, but soft on the inside. The man was a Jewish hero, of whom “Arik, Melech Yisrael!” (“Arik, King of Israel!”) was chanted for so many years by hundreds of thousands of Israelis at mass rallies. He was the quintessential tough Jew, and when he spoke, the world listened.

Who can ever forget the picture of Ariel Sharon with a bandage on his head, leading troops during the 1973 War? As he said, when he rightfully went to the Temple Mount, “The Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount.”

While he was a man of action, here are a few of my favorite quotes which I choose to help define Ariel Sharon:

“For our attachment to the land of Israel, our identity with it comes through out Jewishness. I am a Jew, I thought then, as I think now. That does not mean I am a religious man. I am not. When it comes to practicing Judaism, there is much I do not know. But I do know for certain that above everything I am a Jew and only afterwards an Israeli and the rest.” (Warrior)

“As one who fought in all of Israel’s wars, and learned from personal experience that without proper force, we do not have a chance of surviving in this region, which does not show mercy towards the weak.” Ariel Sharon

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.” Ariel Sharon

“We need the Jews here. Move to Israel! Move to Israel!”

“Myself, first of all, I am a Jew. And that is the most important thing for me. As a Jew, it is my historic responsibility to defend the Jewish people. I feel this responsibility for the survival of the Jewish people. We’re not going to accept any decision by anybody else about security of the State of Israel. It is our role and only our role.”

Throughout his life, his love for the land of Israel and the Jewish people defined him.  May the Almighty comfort his family by the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Alav HaShalom — may he rest in peace. Thank you Ariel Sharon.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, and author.